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Old 03-01-2005, 11:17 PM   #1
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Please clearly explain benefits/neccessity of MH over PCs...

OK so I have set up a 75 gallon tank about two months ago and am starting to plan my lighting setup for when I get corals. I am interested in possibly acquiring a candy cane or trumpet coral, a button polyp, and a shroom in the future and was wondering about the lighting neccessity these corals would have.

I found a few interesting lighting setups that I am considering. On the PC side I like the 48" Coralife Lunar Aqualight Moonlight Hood 4 x 65 watt power. It has (2)10K and (2) Actinic 65 Watt Power Compact bulbs with (3) Blue Moon Glow LED Lights.

On the MH side I like the Hamilton 48" 2 -250 watt 10K Metal Halide bulbs 2-110 watt VHO actincs, 2 - 4" fans setup.

I am wondering if the corals would thrive with the PC setup or if the MH setup is worth the $400 extra it costs? Any information on this topic would be greatly appreciated. TIA.[/url]
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:25 PM   #2
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Metal Halides more closely mimic the natural spectrum and PAR of the sun. It isn't just the light that is important or even the wattage as is the intensity and spectrum. The simple version is tried and true, Metal Halides grow coral better. This is just fact, though you will be able to keep all of the above mentioned coral with PC lighting and there are coral which prefer lower lighting. However Metal Halides give you more option in which coral to keep as well as a brighter display. IMO Halide is the way to go. Often times you see a beginner buy PC lights with or without the intent to upgrade at a later time only to find upgrading a must when they have already spent a great deal on an inferior lighting system. My suggestion is to decide if this is a hobby you will stick with for years and grow with. If the answer is yes, then save yourself the time and hassle and go for the halides.

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Old 03-01-2005, 11:27 PM   #3
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mh is more intense light which is necessary for many sps and clams and other cool tank-mates.
we have pc lights on all our tanks and refugia and we think they work great. my only sps is Montipora digitata which is thriving in the top section of my reef under 2x55w pc with one 10000k and one actinic 03.
many other cool tank-mates cannot tolerate the brightness of mh like mushies and some other inverts.
what lighting you get shoul be dependent upon what kind of biome you are simulating, what depth you are simulating, and what specimens are you planning on keeping and their requirements.
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:27 PM   #4
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The corals you have mentioned will do great under PC's. The light loving SPS corals and anemones/clams do much better under MH. The reason is intensity. With a 250w MH, you have 250w of very intense light concentrated in a 2'x2' area instead of being spread out like a PC is. No matter how much artificial light you put over your tank, it's not going to equal the tropical sun at noon over the reef.
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:28 PM   #5
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oh yeah and we have a tank with even less light for softies and mushies. that has about 2.8 watts/gallon of 50/50 pc.
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick responses. Let's say I want a bubble tip anemone in the future, does that mean I should go with MH or would the PCs suffice?
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Old 03-02-2005, 12:03 AM   #7
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MH is best for an anemone, most of them are high light creatures. If you have the capital go for the mh and save yourself money in the long run.
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:16 AM   #8
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i have heard good things about BTAs under sufficient wattaged pc lights. i just wanted to say i have all the corals you are interested in (button polyps, candy cane, and shrooms) under my pc.
if you can afford it, get the mh. remember that its gonna be expensive per month for electricity too.
i would get mh if i could afford it...one day
good luck.
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